Bernice L. McFadden
  • Female
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • United States
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Profile Information

Who I am:
Twitter Handle: queenazsa
Books I've written, anthologies I've contributed to, and any scripts or plays I've authored:
Gathering of Waters (Jan 2012)
Nowhere is a Place
Camilla's Roses
Loving Donovan
This Bitter Earth
The Warmest December

Writing as Geneva Holliday
Lover Man
My writing is:
Outlets where I review books, TV, or film:
Services I offer to other writers:
Profiles in my weekly newsletters
I found out about She Writes from:


Following her best-selling, award-winning novel Glorious, McFadden produces a fantastical historical novel featuring the spirit of Emmett Till.

GATHERING OF WATERS is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi--a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.

TASS HILSON AND EMMETT TILL were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.

FORTY YEARS LATER, AFTER THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till's spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.

GATHERING OF WATERS mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town's families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism--both disturbing and riveting--combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Beloved.


 The Buzz:


"McFadden works a kind of miracle -- not only do [her characters] retain their appealing humanity; their story eclipses the bonds of history to offer continuous surprises . . . Beautiful and evocative, Gathering of Waters brings three generations to life . . .The real power of the narrative lies in the richness and complexity of the characters. While they inhabit these pages they live, and they do so gloriously and messily and magically, so that we are at last sorry to see them go, and we sit with those small moments we had with them and worry over them, enchanted, until they become something like our own memories, dimmed by time, but alive with the ghosts of the past, and burning with spirits."
--National Book Award Winner, Jesmyn Ward for The New York Times Book Review

"Read it aloud. Hire a chorus to chant it to you and anyone else interested in hearing about civil rights and uncivil desires, about the dark heat of hate, about the force of forgiveness."
--Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered, NPR; click here to hear the entire review

"As strange as this may sound, Bernice L. McFadden has created a magical, fantastic novel centered around the notorious tragedy of Emmett Till's murder. This is a startling, beautifully written piece of work."
--Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River

“I couldn't stop reading, caught up as I was in that enticing place between truth and fantasy, the here-and-now and the what-was, the living and the dead, the ugliness and the beauty, the hatred and the love. What a rich chorus of voices Bernice McFadden has fashioned from this place called Money."
--Lee Martin, author of Break the Skin and 



Bernice L. McFadden's Blog

Good News All Around!!!

Posted on December 2, 2012 at 4:56am 0 Comments

Generally, the end of the year is a nail-biting time for authors.

During November and December, magazines, literary publications and major newspapers begin to roll out lists of best/notable books of the year.

Of course, as a writer, you pray and hope that your book will be on at least one of those lists.

I am honored and humbled to announce that my novel, …


What I'm Working On....

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 4:21pm 0 Comments

I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I've posted!!!

I can't say that I've been busy - I think preoccupied is a better word. I have a lot of changes happening in my life. I want to say some are good and some are not so good - but I don't think that would be an accurate statement.

So I'll just say that some of the changes are very scary. Maybe once the cycle is complete I'll look back an ask, "What in the world were you afraid of, this is…


Cross Literary Pollination

Posted on July 6, 2012 at 6:33am 0 Comments

A few days ago, I received an email totting Karen Q. Miller's newest novel: An Angry As Black Woman..

To be honest, the title didn't grab fact, it screamed "Ghetto-Lit" -…


A Black Writer Asks: Where's The Love?

Posted on June 15, 2012 at 6:42am 1 Comment

Last year I was thrilled to have been nominated for an NAACP IMAGE AWARD. It was one of the highlights of my literary career.

But there was one thing that did put a damper on the experience - the literary portion of the show was not aired on national television. It was "just" streamed live on the Internet.

In fact, the literary portion of the awards is part of the pre-show and so we folks have to show up an hour or so earlier than the other…


Comment Wall (22 comments)

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At 3:04pm on July 26, 2011, Elle Joie said…

Of course I know you and your work.  I have read all of your novels, discussed "Loving Donovan in a book group, and have admired your writing.  I believe I swooned over the way you "layered" the prologue to "Glorious." 



At 5:51pm on March 8, 2011, Rev. LaWaughn Rouse said…
Bernice I am so sorry to leave you so many comments but I just had to let you know that I read Glorious and I'm still there. I didn't want it to end. I would not have read this type of book prior to coming to she writes...I like love stories with a mystery murder. This book took me away and made me proud in the taking. You are a great story teller. I want to be you when I grow Keep up the good work and now I'm reading Sugar...I guess I will be leaving another comment...ha,ha,ha, Rev. LaWaughn Rouse
At 7:55pm on March 1, 2011, Rev. LaWaughn Rouse said…
Bernice...just had to tell you that my books came today...I'm off this weekend so my goal is to read them both...I read very fast so I can't wait to get to them...however I thought I would just take a peak of Glorious to see if it was the part that I had read....before I knew it I was up to chapter 11.....a great read and I put it down before I finished it..then I would not have anything to read this this is the thing my husband never reads fiction of any type or a novel he asked me if he could read sugar I could not believe that....keep up your good work
At 7:32am on February 25, 2011, Rev. LaWaughn Rouse said…

Hi just wanted to let you know that I ordered Sugar and Glorious today...really enjoyed your website and you are my community She Writes Blog inspiration for today. Keep doing what you doing. Its your gift from God. I can't wait to grow up and be just like you...ha,ha,ha..seeing that I'm already in my vintage years...but wait this is my second wind. Praying your strength

Radical Revla...(my new blog name Rev. LaWaughn Rouse)

At 4:22am on February 21, 2011, Rev. LaWaughn Rouse said…

Ms. McFadden

I'm new here at She Writes and I'm just stumbling around the site. This morning I found you. I feel like a kid on Christmas day...what a breath of fresh air. I am so impressed and I have put you high on my list of books to read. You have inspired me. Thank you. I would love for you to be my friend on She Writes but don't have a clue yet how to do that...but soon as I learn I will be sending you a friend invite. Keep up the good work. Can't wait to read Sugar (which is my nickname that my husband has called me for over 30 years except its Brown Sugar).

Have a blessed and productive day

Rev. LaWaughn Rouse 

At 9:19pm on September 15, 2010, bainbridge scott said…
If the book is anything like the introduction you sent me, it will be a wonderful read. Thank you! I'll be getting my copy soon.
At 8:38pm on July 29, 2010, Sin McKnight said…
Hi Bernice -- Reading Sugar was.... How strange! I'm at a loss for words. It’s as though I was picked up and placed in the story which is what every writer hope to create. I felt everything, tasted everything and live her life in all the pages of your book. Strangest of all, I try not to read the Author's name to refrain from creating perceptions of a work based on that Author and keep the writing fresh and new so until now, all I remembered was the word "Sugar" and the unique writing of its creator. Thank you for sharing your canvas of this amazing masterpiece with me. -Sin
At 8:19pm on June 27, 2010, Kamy Wicoff said…
Hi Bernice -- wanted to alert you to something I'm doing with Carleen Brice as part of a week-long series for She Writes to celebrate our first anniversary. It would be so wonderful if you could call in and take part in the discussion, and spread the word to others you think might be interested.

"WHITE READERS, MEET BLACK AUTHORS": How Women of Color are Reviewed, Read and Received, with Kamy Wicoff and Carleen Brice.

Tweet: Live chat with Carleen Brice and Kamy Wicoff about how women of color are read and reviewed, 1-2PM EST, call in 347-884-9779.

Monday, June 28th, from 1PM to 2PM EST on She Writes radio, call 347-884-9779 to join a discussion with Kamy Wicoff and Carleen Brice, who created the tongue-in-cheek video "White Readers, Meet Black Authors." Carleen Brice is author of the novels "Orange Mint and Honey" (which was optioned by the Lifetime Movie Network) and "Children of the Waters," which One World/Ballantine released in June 2009. She also wrote "Lead Me Home: An African American’s Guide Through the Grief Journey" (HarperCollins), and edited the anthology "Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife" (Beacon Press, Souvenir Press). Her book "Walk Tall: Affirmations for People of Color sold over 100,000 copies and was in print with traditional publishers for 10 years."
At 4:16pm on December 26, 2009, Dawn Gordon said…
thank you for the frienship Bernice,been so busy, another writing contract in the new year to fulfill so running around here
At 10:56am on December 22, 2009, Tammy Rockett-Box said…
Hello Bernice, I look forward to reading your book Sugar. Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday.


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